This article is a part of a series that examines the background of the University of Notre Dame’s board of trustees, a group composed both of laypersons and Holy Cross priests. Since 1967, the trustees have been charged with the general governance of the university, with the exception of certain powers reserved for the university fellows. They meet regularly throughout the academic year, operating under the following 13 committees: the Executive Committee, the Governance and Nominating Committee, the Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee, the Student Affairs Committee, the Investment Committee, the Finance Committee, the University Relations/Public Affairs and Communication Committee, the Committee on Social Values and Responsibilities, the Audit Committee, the Committee on Athletic Affairs, the Facilities and Campus Planning Committee, the Compensation Committee and the International Facilities Committee.

An elected member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees, Phillip B. Rooney is is chairman of the private investment firm Claddagh Investments, LLC.  In 2009, he became Chairman of the Board at Accutest Laboratories, an environmental testing laboratory.

At Notre Dame, Rooney has contributed to the named professorship program, establishing the Rooney Family Professorship.  The program helps Notre Dame secure accomplished professors. The Rooney Family Professorship was awarded to Assistant Professor of Engineering Alexandros Taflanidis, who has contributed to service and relief efforts in Haiti.

Rooney holds a BA degree from St. Bernard College. He began working for Waste Management Inc. in 1969 and became a company officer soon after in 1971.

For most of his time at Waste Management, the largest waste service in the world, Rooney worked with CEO Dean L. Buntrock and other members of senior management.  Rooney followed Buntrock as CEO in 1996, only to resign shortly after in 1997.  Under the influence of this powerful team, Waste Management reported profits that attracted the attention of investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In 2002, the SEC issued a complaint accusing Waste Management’s top management of “massive financial fraud.”  According to the complaint, Waste Management Inc. allegedly used unethical accounting tactics that, in effect, excluded or delayed expenses, overstating its reported profits and inflating stock prices.  These practices would deceive unsuspecting investors, setting them up for severe financial loss.

After his resignation as CEO of Waste Management in 1997, Rooney worked as an officer for ServiceMaster Inc., a privately held Fortune 500 company that manages a diverse portfolio of service brands, until 2003.

In addition to his history as a corporate leader, Rooney served in the military as a US Marine Corp. Officer from 1966-1969.  Rooney is a member of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Corporate Council, which promotes the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s mission “to remember, heal and educate.”

A Chicago resident, Rooney also serves as a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, an organization that seeks to enhance economic prosperity in the Chicago area.

Unfortunately, efforts to contact Rooney were unsuccessful.

Helena Birdsell is a sophomore economics major who lives in Badin.  Contact her at